There needs to be a “root and branch” review of the complaints process run by the Legal Ombudsman, with the speed with which complaints are resolved a particular concern, according to the prospective chair of the organisation’s governing body.
The Office for Legal Complaints is to put in place a new performance plan for the Legal Ombudsman next year to tackle falling standards, it has emerged. Steve Green, chair of the OLC, promised things would be on an “upward trajectory” next year.
Kathryn Stone, a police complaints commissioner, is to become chief ombudsman at the Legal Ombudsman in January next year. The appointment comes at a time when new figures put LeO under further pressure from the Legal Services Board over deteriorating performance against its targets.
Staff working for the Legal Ombudsman will not have to repay hundreds of thousands of pounds of “irregular” benefits they received from their employer, it has been decided. Having sought advice from the Treasury Solicitor, its board agreed that “repayment should not be pursued”.
The Ministry of Justice has declared more than £1.2m of payments made to staff at the Legal Ombudsman in the years since it was established to be “irregular”.
There is scope for the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) to offer redress to third parties, as long as the complaints involved could be “clearly and tightly defined”, a report by a LeO working party has found.
The first lawyer to be ‘named and shamed’ by the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) for a series of complaints has argued that he is only “trying to adapt to new market forces”.
Ian Brack, formerly chief executive and chief accounting officer of the Olympic Lottery Distributor, has been appointed interim chief executive of the Legal Ombudsman in succession to Adam Sampson after his resignation last month.
The Legal Ombudsman has exercised for the first time its power under the Legal Services Act to name “in the public interest” a lawyer responsible for a series of complaints.
The new chair of the Office for Legal Complaints – which oversees the Legal Ombudsman – has outlined his ambition for the service to cover unregulated providers of legal services and those offering legal advice as part of a wider package.